Why It Is Never a Good Idea to Do DIY With Concrete

The Risks and Downsides of Attempting Concrete Projects Yourself in Wollongong

With the soaring popularity of DIY home renovation shows and social media influencers tackling ambitious building projects, the perception exists that “anyone can do that”. However, concrete construction is one area best left to a professional concreter Wollongong rather than DIY. In most cases, there are numerous reasons why undertaking concrete projects as an amateur ends badly.

Concrete seems simple enough; mix cement with aggregates like sand and gravel to form a paste that sets hard. However, achieving proper concrete placement and curing requires advanced technical skills and experience. When concrete goes wrong, the results are expensive structural defects, safety hazards or features that diminish your home’s value.

By understanding why DIY concrete often ends in disaster, Wollongong homeowners can avoid preventable risks and failures.

Concrete Crossovers Wollongong

Getting the Concrete Mixture Right is Tricky

Determining the correct, precise ratios for each batch of concrete is challenging. You need the right blend of Portland cement, aggregates, water, and, for some applications, admixtures that improve flow or curing properties. Too much or too little of any ingredient leads to weaker concrete, which is prone to cracking and early failure.

A professional concreter Wollongong have ready-mix suppliers they work closely with to dial in mixtures perfected for local conditions. They use exact measurements, not guesswork. This expertise ensures proper concrete strength and longevity. Don’t trust random backyard mix ratios; the results will disappoint you.

Proper Subsoil and Base Preparation is Key

What lies beneath the concrete is just as crucial as the concrete itself. Any movement, shifting or compression of poorly prepared subsoils or base material will crack aboveground pads and slabs. Preventing this requires digging out topsoils to undisturbed, stable subsoils capable of bearing load without deformation and installing compacted road base or gravel substrate.

Getting this foundation preparation right takes civil engineering knowledge and the right equipment. Do-it-yourselfers often shortcut steps without realising the problems they’re brewing underneath for later. Don’t be tempted by what seems easy savings upfront only to pay far higher costs long term when concrete failures show up.

Achieving Correct Fall and Drainage is Precise Work

For driveways, patio slabs, and pool surrounds, achieving proper grading and fall for drainage can be extremely tricky, especially if the site is not entirely flat. Sloping the concrete surface too little means water ponds and has nowhere to run off. Too much slope looks and feels awkward underfoot.

Professional concreter Wollongong use laser levels, gradients, and surveying skills to millimetre perfection so water drains away without you noticing any angled slope walking or driving on the finished concrete. Trying this almost always means ending up with uneven, incorrectly graded surfaces. The challenge intensifies on stepped terrace slabs and ramp applications. Don’t waste tons of concrete redoing amateur efforts.

Curing Concrete Correctly Takes Diligence

Curing is one of concrete’s most vital and frequently bungled steps. This refers to controlled hardening and moisture retention for complete hydration of cement compounds to achieve full strength. Curing must commence immediately after the pour and continue consistently after that.

Early removal of forms, failure to maintain constant moisture levels through the process, and applying sealer or coverings too soon lead to improper concrete curing. The outcome is that weakened concrete is more prone to cracking, flaking, scaling and reduced longevity. Don’t cut corners on this.

Achieving Structural Integrity and Safety Standards

Backyard DIY concrete lacks independent quality assurance and structural certification. Concrete designated for structural building elements like footings, slabs, columns and retaining walls must satisfy strict engineering regulations for thickness, reinforcement specifications and composition ratios.

While the concrete may look fine from the outside, what’s inside matters most. Only professional concreters subject pours to independent engineering inspections and strict standards compliance. Don’t gamble your home’s structural integrity to DIY uncertainty. The risks are just too high.

Protecting Surrounding Property and Landscaping

Another downside of amateur concrete pouring is unintended damage. Sloppily hauled wheelbarrows spill everywhere, staining pavers. Uncontrolled cement runoff damages gardens.

DIYers focused on the concrete itself pay little heed to protecting adjacent surfaces. Don’t sacrifice other elements of your property to concrete mess and avoidable mistakes.

Play it Safe Using a Pro Concreter Wollongong

While DIY concrete projects may seem straightforward, completing them successfully involves mastering multiple professional-grade construction skills the average homeowner does not possess. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and risk making costly future repairs.

Trust an expert professional concreter like our team for concrete installation results aligned with Wollongong building codes and structural integrity standards. With decades of local experience completing quality concrete projects across the Illawarra region, we handle every aspect of the job to the highest standards using advanced equipment and techniques refined across thousands of jobs.

Contact us today for quotes on expert concreter Wollongong services.